Oh, the irony of the reality of ALS

As pointed out in previous posts, bloodhounds follow the scent trail that matches the scent on the article used to begin the “hunt.” The bloodhound cannot differentiate whether the scent article originated from a convicted felon, a college professor, a lost child, a swim coach, or Mayor Joe from Big City, USA. Nor does the bloodhound care about the subject’s sex, socioeconomic position, religious affiliation, or ethnic background. The bloodhound’s only goal—find the person who matches the scent. Period.

On an entirely different front, ALS operates on much the same principles. Go after a person with no regard to his or her level of education, annual income, marital status, age, etc.

The grim reality of this hit home again the day before Christmas, when a letter dated December 17, 2019, arrived from UCSF’s Catherine Lomen-Hoerth, MD PhD. You’ll read that Dr. Lomen-Hoerth was mentored by Richard K. Olney, MD, at UCSF. Dr. Olney was diagnosed with and ultimately succumbed to ALS. Additionally, another very devoted, brilliant UCSF researcher—Rahul Desikan, MD PhD, committed to the research of neurological diseases—was also diagnosed with fast-progressing ALS and passed away in July of 2019.

One of my intended purposes for Hound by the Sea is to help increase awareness about a disease that is not well known nor well understood and for which no cure has yet to be discovered. 

Please Note:  The link to Dr. Lomen-Hoerth’s letter is not an indirect appeal for your monetary support for UCSF’s ALS Center. Dr. Lomen-Hoerth happens to be the neurologist who ultimately put a name on my ailment, and her letter is provided here as a means to provide additional insight concerning ALS.

UCSF ALS Center’s Founding Director Dies of the Disease He Studied

Colleagues Mourn Loss of Rahul Desikan, 41, to ALS

4 Replies to “Oh, the irony of the reality of ALS”

  1. The unfortunate reality of life is that no one gets out of it alive. That you are blood kin, and though we’ve been separated for years by time and location, it still deeply pains me greatly to know you have this terrible disease and like yourself, to know the ultimate result is that you too will not escape with your life; you will just leave sooner than later. I guess, unless faced with a terminal diagnosis, I’ll just drop like a rock one day and that will be that. I am not sure if I would want to know what got me or just let it be a surprise. That’s more a question to you than an answer for me.

    1. Thank you, Chris, for expressing your concern for my welfare. What matters most is not “what got me” but where I will spend eternity. Life here is but a vapor. Whether a person dies in infancy, teens, midlife, or lives to be 100 years old, or more . . . life on earth is temporal. Eternity, on the other hand, knows no end. And according to the written Word of God, Jesus Christ is preparing a room custom designed for anyone who places their confidence in Him. In the 14th chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus Christ said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

  2. “Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ…” 2 Cor. 5:20

    You, my dear friend, are not only an ambassador for ALS through this platform, but, more importantly, an ambassador for Christ, as you trust Him through it all.

    “Your gutsy choice to face suffering head-on forces others around you to sit up and take notice. It’s called strengthening the character of a helping society. When people observe perseverance, endurance, and courage, their moral fiber is reinforced. Conversely, your choice to bow out of life can and does weaken the moral resolve of that same society.” When Is It Right to Die? Joni Eareckson Tada

    Love you,

    1. Katie, throughout my entire life, God has proven His faithfulness and always been closer than any other friend. Always available. Always listening. Always caring. Always forgiving. Always responsive through His presence. So during this major trial, I know He is never far away.

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